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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Fradkov Dismisses Aide

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov discharged Monday his aide Lieutenant Vladimir Shamanov, a former Ulyanovsk governor and a commander of federal forces in Chechnya.

Shamanov is the fifth aide to be dismissed by Fradkov since the end of January, reported.

Shamanov took his position in late 2004 and was in charge of social support to the Russian military and retired veterans. (MT)

Anti-Terror Body Meets

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee, which is chaired by Nikolai Patrushev, director of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, convened for the first time on Tuesday. President Vladimir Putin created the committee by decree last month.

Patrushev told the committee members, who are mostly federal ministers and their deputies, that anti-terrorist commissions and the FSB-commanded operational headquarters to fight terrorism had already been formed in every Russian region.

Patrushev said the national committee would gather every two months.

A counter-terrorism law that Putin signed Monday makes the National Anti-Terrorist Committee the top coordinating body to fight terrorism. (MT)

New Bittsevsky Park Murder

The body of a 68-year-old man was discovered in southwest Moscow on Sunday after he was apparently killed in Bittsevsky Park, where several pensioners have been murdered in recent months, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported Tuesday.

Citing police sources, MK reported that the pensioner had been strangled and then beaten to death with a blunt object but that he had not been robbed. Police found an open bottle of vodka and a glove on the scene that they believe may belong to the killer, the newspaper reported.

Seven elderly people have been killed in the park in similar attacks since October, MK reported, leading to speculation that a serial killer -- whom the Russian media have dubbed the "Bittsevsky Maniac" -- could be responsible for the murders. (MT)

Danes Back in Chechnya

A Danish aid group that provides food to tens of thousands of people in Chechnya resumed operations in the war-ravaged region Tuesday after nearly a monthlong suspension connected to the Prophet Mohammed cartoon controversy.

Danish Refugee Council country director Per Ilsaas said the group was restarting operations as of Tuesday morning. "We are very pleased that we have been allowed to resume our work," he said.

Last month, Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said Danish organizations would no longer be allowed to operate in the republic because of the caricatures. (AP)

Gas CEO Held in Murder

TBILISI, Georgia -- Police on Tuesday arrested the chief executive of Georgian capital's gas distribution company on suspicion of organizing the murder of a former colleague, the Interior Ministry said.

Tbilgaz CEO Georgy Gvichani was accused of plotting the murder of Nikolai Lominadze, the country financial director of U.S. electricity company AES, in Tbilisi in 2002. (AP)